Obviously, it’s not getting the attention that the new playoffs are, but there’s another change being ushered in with the demise of the BCS that has the potential to be even more significant over the long haul. The bowl system as it is today is being dismantled.
The 13-member selection committee will not only provide the final Top 25 rankings, but will determine which teams go to which New Year’s Six bowls that do not have conference tie-ins. In other words, you’ll see fewer bowl reps on campus wearing tacky blazers because they have no control over who comes to their bowl. That’s right: no control over what team plays in their bowl. Nada.
The selection committee will determine who plays where. Another big change: Bowls can no longer skip teams in the rankings to pick a lower-ranked team that travels better. [Emphasis added.] The bowl teams will be selected based on the highest-available ranked team.
Right there is your admission that the power conferences have made the call that the future of college football is in broadcast revenue. The bowls will have to live with that. In fact, with the conferences negotiating lower ticket purchase guarantees, the TV money is going to be their key to survival.
But not as independent entities. Because the other thing being established here is the principle that bowls outside the current semi-final arrangement are being reorganized around a pure seeding arrangement. That makes things smoother when they’re preempted in the name of an expanded playoff.
The conferences have discovered how much leverage they wield. Bowls as we know them are the dinosaurs of college football.